COUNTY OF ALBEMARLE

 

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

 

 

AGENDA TITLE:

ZTA2005-00007 Storage Yards

 

SUBJECT/PROPOSAL/REQUEST:

Amend Zoning Ordinance §§ 3.1, 24.2.1,  24.2.2,  25.2.1,  25.2.2, 25A.2.1,  25A.2.2,  27.2.1, 27.2.2,  28.2.1,  and 28.2.2 by defining “storage yard,” “heavy equipment and heavy vehicle parking and storage yard,” “heavy equipment” and “heavy vehicles” ; deleting the “contractor’s office and equipment storage yard” classification (currently allowed as a by right use in the LI and HI districts and as a special use in the HC and PD-MC districts) and replacing it with either the “storage yard” or “heavy equipment and heavy vehicle parking and storage yard” classifications; allowing  storage yards as a by right use in the HC, LI and HI districts; allowing storage yards as a special use in the PD-SC and PD-MC districts; allowing heavy equipment and heavy vehicle parking and storage yards as a by right use in the HI district and as a special use in the LI district; and deleting “storage yards not elsewhere classified, excluding storage of nuclear products, by-products or wastes,” as a special use in the HI district.

 

STAFF CONTACT(S):

Messrs. Tucker, Foley, Davis, Kamptner, Graham, Cilimberg, and

Ms. McCulley

 

LEGAL REVIEW:   Yes

 

AGENDA DATE:

November 12, 2008

 

 

ACTION:   X          INFORMATION: 

 

 

CONSENT AGENDA:

 ACTION:              INFORMATION: 

 

 

ATTACHMENTS:   Yes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

REVIEWED BY:

 


 

BACKGROUND: 

Under current regulations, the “contractor’s office and equipment storage yard” classification is allowed by right in the LI and HI districts, and by special use permit in the HC and PD-MC districts.  Experience has shown that a use that falls within this classification may range in intensity from one that is primarily offices with limited equipment storage and minimal impacts to those uses that are intensive because less area is devoted to offices and more is devoted to equipment storage and maintenance.  Sometimes these uses may include the storage, maintenance and transportation of heavy construction vehicles and equipment. In those districts where this use is allowed by right, impacts cannot be addressed through site- and use-specific conditions.  In recent years, concern has been expressed that traffic, noise and other impacts arising from more intensive contractor’s office and equipment storage yards create conflicts with residential areas and rural areas in proximity to the use.  In addition, the “contractor’s office and equipment storage yard” classification is not defined in the Zoning Ordinance and whether a use falls within that classification has proven to be difficult to administer and the subject of multiple appeals to the Board of Zoning Appeals and the Circuit Court.     

 

DISCUSSION:

The proposed zoning text amendment would create two new classifications – “storage yard” and “heavy equipment and heavy vehicle parking and storage yard.”  Both of these classifications would be defined.  A “storage yard” is the less-intensive of the two classifications, and it is an area used for parking, storing and/or maintaining equipment, vehicles and materials used off-site in the trade, business or other commercial or industrial activity of the owner or occupant.  The storage of heavy vehicles and heavy equipment, explosives, including blasting caps, and nuclear products, by-products or wastes, would be prohibited.  A “storage yard” would be allowed by right in the HC, LI and HI districts and by special use permit in the PD-SC and PD-MC districts. 

 

A “heavy equipment and heavy vehicle parking and storage yard” is an area used for parking, storing and/or maintaining heavy equipment and heavy vehicles used off-site in the trade, business or other commercial or industrial activity of the owner or occupant.  The storage of nuclear products, by-products or wastes, would be prohibited.  The storage of explosives, including blasting caps, that are used in the off-site activity, would be permitted.  “Heavy equipment” would be defined to mean equipment that requires an oversize/overweight permit from the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles to be transported over public highways.  “Heavy vehicles” would be defined to be vehicles that have more than five (5) axles or haul heavy equipment.  This use would be allowed by right only in the HI district and by special use permit in the LI district.    

 

On August 26, 2008, the Planning Commission held a public hearing on the above-referenced zoning text amendment and recommended approval by a vote of 7:0 with the following changes:

 

 

The attached amended zoning text (Attachment B) reflects the Planning Commission recommendations

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms oversees the federal regulation of explosives, blasting caps and ammunition.  Explosives are regulated at the state and local level under the Virginia Statewide Fire Prevention Code (Virginia Code § 27-94 et seq. and implementing regulations), which establishes standards for the handling and storage of explosives, and other statutory schemes such as Virginia Code § 59-137 et seq., which regulates the sale of explosives and requires the reporting of any theft of explosive by the person storing them. The Department of Fire Rescue, through the Fire Marshal’s Office, regulates and issues permits for the handling and storage of explosives.

 

BUDGET IMPACT:

It will take minimally longer staff time for Zoning to determine the category of storage yard use because staff will need to review additional information from owners as to the nature of their storage yard use.  Because this type of use is not expected to be proposed/reviewed with great frequency it should not impact Zoning’s workload.  As most storage yards are expected to be by-right rather than by special use permit, costs associated with processing a special use permit (staff analysis, adjacent owner notification, legal ads for both the Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors and posting of on-site notification signs) would be less frequent.  Although there is currently a $1,020 fee for industrial use special use permit applications, many times this fee does not cover the costs noted above.

 

RECOMMENDATIONS:

After conducting a public hearing, staff and the Planning Commission recommend that the Board adopt ZTA 2005-00007 (Attachment B).

 

ATTACHMENTS:

A - August 26, 2008 Planning Commission Staff Report

B – Proposed Zoning Text Amendment

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